Good year to hunt whitetail deer
News from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
MONTANA — Hunters took to the field Saturday and Sunday across northwest Montana for the opening weekend of the general deer and elk season. At the six northwest Montana check stations, a total of 3,154 hunters checked 150 white-tailed deer (123 of these were bucks), 33 mule deer, and 11 elk for a 6.2 percent rate of hunters with game. This compares with a 4.1 percent rate of hunters with game last year at the check stations.
The opener was solid, reflecting the good fawn recruitment over the past three years, according to FWP Wildlife Manager Jim Williams,
“We’ve had very good survival of young deer for several years running and this is showing up in the buck harvest this weekend, with lots of yearling and 2-year-old bucks,” he said.
Williams noted that the Swan and North Fork lagged behind the other four check stations, with very few animals checked.
The Olney check station saw the best results. Hunters checked 33 whitetail bucks, eight whitetail does, one bull elk, and five mule deer bucks, for a 10.3 percent rate of hunters with game. The Highway 2 Check Station also saw strong results, with 75 whitetail deer taken.